South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem urged state lawmakers Tuesday to protect unborn babies with Down syndrome from discrimination by passing new pro-life legislation.

In her state of the state address, the pro-life Republican governor said legislation to ban abortions on unborn babies based on a Down syndrome diagnosis will be one of her top priorities for the year.

“Children with Down Syndrome are a gift to us all,” she wrote on Twitter. “I am asking the South Dakota legislature to pass a law that bans the abortion of a preborn child, just because that child is diagnosed with Down Syndrome. We must stand for the right to life of every preborn child.”

Prior to her address, Noem appeared on Fox and Friends with Fox News contributor Rachel Campos-Duffy and her husband, former Wisconsin Congressman Sean Duffy, and their daughter Valentina who has Down syndrome.

“I think little Valentina right here, her little face shows what a blessing that she is to this family,” Noem said, emphasizing that she wants to create a better future for everyone in her state, including the unborn.

“Strong families create strong communities. And strong communities will produce the strongest state in the nation,” Noem continued later Tuesday on Twitter. “I am committed to keeping family at the center of my policy decisions each and every day that I serve as your governor.”

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On Fox, Campos-Duffy praised the governor for advocating for children with special needs.

“I don’t think it is a coincidence that she is a mom, and this is coming out of a mom governor,” she said. “I would just say to any woman who has a diagnosis, who gets that call from the doctor just like I did, Valentina has given me as much joy and pride as any of my other little babies, and she is an American and she has the right to live just like everybody else.”

Unborn babies with Down syndrome are aborted at an astronomical rate. Recent reports in The Atlantic and CBS News found that nearly 100 percent of unborn babies who test positive for Down syndrome are aborted in Iceland, 95 percent in Denmark and 77 percent in France.

The deadly discrimination is getting worse with advances in prenatal testing. The Telegraph reports about 90 percent of unborn babies who test positive for Down syndrome in the UK are aborted. A new report published in the European Journal of Human Genetics found that the number of babies with Down syndrome born in the UK dropped 54 percent since the non-invasive prenatal screening tests became available about a decade ago.

What’s more, parents frequently report feeling pressured to abort unborn babies with Down syndrome and other disabilities. One mom recently told the BBC that she was pressured to abort her unborn daughter 15 times, including right up to the moment of her baby’s birth. Another mother from Brooklyn, New York said doctors tried to convince her to abort her unborn son for weeks before they took no for an answer.

A recent study highlighted in Scientific American found evidence that families of children with Down syndrome often face negative, biased counseling and pressure to have abortions.

All this has prompted a number of states to pass laws to protect unborn babies from discrimination in recent years. Ohio, North Dakota, Missouri and Indiana are among them, but most of their anti-discrimination laws are being blocked in court.

Lately, prominent pro-abortion groups, including NARAL and Planned Parenthood, have been arguing openly that abortions are ok for any reason, including discrimination and sex-selection.

EVERY reason to have an abortion is a valid reason,” Colleen McNicholas, a Planned Parenthood abortionist, told the AP in 2019 when Missouri passed a law that bans abortions based on the unborn baby’s sex or a Down syndrome diagnosis.

If upheld, these laws could protect thousands of unborn babies from abortion every year. Unborn babies with Down syndrome are targeted for abortions at astronomical rates. Many believe sex-selection abortions also occur in the U.S., though data is limited.

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